ESRC Digital Good Network

Digital Identities Over Time: online residency

Digital Identities Over Time. Image of clock and logos of Imagination Lancaster and the Digital Good Network

As part of their ‘Good Digital Identity Futures‘ project, the researchers created a one-month, online residency for four artists to explore the theme of: Digital Identities Over Time.

What is the aim of the residency?

The aim is to provide different perspectives and provoke debate about what future digital identities might be like, how they might unfold over time, and what we want from such digital identity systems – particularly given the emerging technologies in this field such as: self-sovereign identity systems, biometrics, facial recognition, identity cards, social media, AI, etc.

What questions can the residents explore?

  • How might our identities be represented online, and how might the tension between the choice to identify vs implied consent to be ‘identified’ play out in these systems? 
  • Is it possible to represent dynamic identities that acknowledge our inherently fluid, fragmented, and messy selves?
  • How might we think about digital identity (and identification) as it relates to monitoring, profiling and/or erasing certain identities (often the most vulnerable and marginalised) in our societies?
  • What are the social, political, cultural, philosophical, environmental implications of the way digital identities might represent us and those around us?
  • How might we think about assemblages of things, places, people forming collective identities over time?

Where are the residents based?

The residency is virtual and remote. Residents have been given two online platforms where they can meet, share ideas and exhibit work individually as part of online talks, and collectively for a group exhibition. 

Firstly, one platform will enable the residents to occupy a private virtual studio space during the residency, operating alongside a shared space in gather.town that will allow the researchers to invite various experts from academia and industry to visit at different points in the one-month residency. Secondly, 3D gallery spaces will be used to exhibit and highlight residents’ work in the form of online talks and the final exhibition. 

What are the key dates?

  • Online residency: starts from 6 May 2024 and runs for one month.
  • Online exhibition launch event: Thursday 13 June 2024, from 13:00 to 17:00 (BST). Sign up for tickets here.

Who are the residents?

Who are the researchers hosting this residency?

Kim Snooks

Dr Kim Snooks

Postdoctoral Researcher, Digital Good Network; Senior Research Associate, Design for Digital Good

Dr Kim Snooks is a postdoctoral researcher in Design for Digital Good as part of the Digital Good Network. She works with Dr Dan Richards on research around ‘good’ future digital identities, drawing on concepts of the self and identity from personal informatics and social media research.

She studied for her PhD in Design at ImaginationL ancaster, Lancaster University, where she used speculative methods to critically examine future health-tracking technologies. Drawing on more-than human theory, she explored how different perspectives of contextualised personal informatics data might be included in system design.

Dan Richards

Dr Dan Richards

Digital Good Network Technology Translations Lead; Lecturer in Data Prototyping and Visualisation, Lancaster University

Dr Dan Richards is Lecturer in Data Prototyping and Visualisation at Lancaster University. His current research focuses on combining speculative design, unconventional computing and data visualisation to explore futures of emerging technologies.

He has been Co-I and Design lead on two EPSRC-funded projects that explored “Data-Driven Design”: “Qualified Selves: Co-Creating Meaning Post-Big Data” (2019-20), “Chatty Factories” (2018-21), and was co-organiser of the Digital Economy Network funded “Data Publics” conference (2016). His interdisciplinary research has been presented at various top design and scientific venues, whilst his creative works have been exhibited at art exhibitions and tradeshows across the UK, China and the US.

As Technology Translations Lead for the Digital Good Network, Dan is responsible for technology translation, overseeing our design and development sprints, and coordinating the provocative prototyping (or “provotyping”) activity of the network.